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" For old sake'' 5 sake I " ^T^were hard to choose 
Words fitter for an old-mjorid Muse 

Than these, that in their cadence bring 

Faint fragrance of the posy-ring, 
And charms that rustic levers use. 

The long day lengthens, and ^e lose 
The first pale flush, the morning hues, — 
Ah! but the back-look, lingering. 
For old sake's sake I 

That njje retain. Though Time refuse 

To lift the 'Veil on for 'ward vie^ws. 
Despot in most, he is not King 
Of those kind memories that cling 

Around his travelled avenues 

For old sake^s sake ! 




Concerning the eight pieces here reprinted from 
^'Old-World Idylls" and "At the Sign of the 
Lyre," it is only necessary to say that they have been 
chosen because^ being laid in the Eighteenth Century^ 
they appeared to present a congenial field for the 
artistic ingenuity of Mr, Hugh Thomson^ who 
has illustrated them with an ability which I can 
only admire^ and a personal enthusiasm for which 
I can scarcely be sufficiently grateful, 

Austin Dobson. 

The Ballad of Beau Brocade i 

A Gentleman of the Old School .... 33 

A Gentlewoman of the Old School ... 49 

The Old Sedan Chair 65 

Molly Trefusis 73 

The Ladies of St. James's 83 

A Dead Letter 91 

A Chapter of Froissart 105 

Notes ,....115 



" As he lifts her out light " Frontispiece 

Heading to Preface ix 

Heading to Contents xi 

Heading to List of Illustrations xiii 

*' Jotted her down on the spot'^ 2 

Heading to poem 3 

** Would 'club' for a 'Guard'" 5 

*'The Oak and Crown"" . 6 

*' Straining and creaking" 7 

Courtesies of the Road 8 

** Where the best strong waters are" 10 

** Sympathy, horror, and wonderment" 11 

*' Ensign (of Bragg's)" 12 

" George the Guard" 14. 

" Out-spoke Dolly the Chambermaid" 15 

Heading to Part II 17 

** And drums were banged" 19 

"Saddling the gray mare" 21 

"Clattered away to 'Exciseman's Folly '" .... 22 


List of Illustrations 


" Came cantering into the view" 25 

"Turned King's evidence " 28 

The Finish of Beau Brocade 31 

"No sophistries could make him see its slender 

credit" 34 

Heading to poem 35 

In the garden 37 

" To catch the cuckoo's call " . . 39 

In the Mall 40 

"Sorrel" 41 

"When Sweetlip swelled its jovial riot " .... 42 

"A sunny summer doze" 45 

"She once had been the rage " 50 

Heading to poem 51 

"The warm west-looking window-seat "" . , . . k^G 

"She'd still her beau" 59 

" Delighted in his dry bons-mots " ...... 60 

" The almond tree " 63 

" But prone, on a question of fare '' 66 

Heading to poem G'j 

In a Fine-Art Museum 71 

" Was she wooed ? " 74 

Heading to poem 75 

" Miss Molly Trefusis" -^d 

" 'Twas a knight of the shire '' 80 

Tailpiece (" A Toast ") 82 

With a "Stand by! clear the way " 84 

Heading to poem 85 


List of Illustrations 


P* And runs to gather May dew" 87 

'They frown on you — for weeks" 88 

[** By the broken stile '' 92 

leading to poem 93 

^* Sam's two Eyes are all for Cissy" 98 

Tailpiece 103 

The leaf-stained chapter 103 

leading to poem 107 

I** An ivy-leaf for ' Orchard corner ' " no 



JoHed /iQT doion on fAe ffiot. 

^(^facf or*99faa 

'^J EVENTEEN hundred and thirty nine: 
"^ That was the date of this tale of mine. 

First great George was buried and gone ; 
George the Second was plodding on. 

London then, as the '* Guides " aver, 
Shared its glories with Westminster ; 

^'he'^Baliad of "Beau "Brocade 

And people of rank, to correft their " tone," 
Went out of town to Marybone. 

Those were the days of the War with Spalriy 
Porto-Bello would soon be ta'en; 

Whitefield preached to the colliers grim, 
Bishops in lawn sleeves preached at him j 

Walpole talked of a man and his price"; 
Nobody's virtue was over-nice: — 

Those, in fine, were the brave days when 
Coaches were stopped by . . . Highwaymen ! 

And of all the knights of the gentle trade 
Nobody bolder than "Beau Brocade." 

This they knew on the whole way down ; 
Best, — maybe, — at the '' Oak and Crown,''' 

lVcn,WXri,^'fir oguarqT 

77/<? "Ballad of "Beau Brocade 

(For timorous cits on their pilgrimage 

Would "club" for a "Guard" to ride the stage; 

And the Guard that rode on more than one 
Was the Host of this hostePs sister's son.) 

Open we here on a March-day fine, 
Under the oak with the hanging sign. 

There was Barber Dick with his basin by; 
Cobbler Joe with the patch on his eye; 


[■rortly produft of Beef and Beer, 
John the host, he was standing near. 

The 'Ballad of "Beau Brocade 

Straining and creaking, with wheels awry, 
Lumbering came the ^^ Plymouth Fly'''* \ — 



Lumbering up from Bagshot Heathy 
Guard in the basket armed to the teeth ; 

Passengers heavily armed inside ; 

Not the less surely the coach had been tried ! 


The "Ballad of "Beau Brocade 

Tried ! — but a couple of miles away, 

By a well-dressed man ! — in the open day! 

Tried successfully, never a doubt, — 
Pockets of passengers all turned out ! 

Cloak-bags rifled, and cushions ripped, — 
Even an Ensign's wallet stripped ! 

Even a Methodist hosier's wife 

Offered the choice of her Money or Life ! 

Highwayman's manners no less polite. 

Hoped that their coppers (returned) were right ;- 

Sorfy to find the company poor, 

Hoped next time they'd travel with more; — 

Plucked them all at his ease, in short: — 
Such was the " Plymouth Flys " report. 


"The "Ballad of Beau Brocade 

Sympathy ! horror ! and wonderment ! 

" Catch the Villain ! " (But Nobody went.) 

^0\^Te me bMfJHrong coaterj are 

Hosier's wife led into the Bar; 

(That 's where the best strong waters are !) 


Jyyr)f)otf\y f\crror Qy\c^ Cc>CYicfer>^eK.l ' 


The "Ballad of Beau Brocade 

Followed the tale of the hundred-and-one 
Things that Somebody ought to have done. 

^Ky.y^ (./ B^ag^i) 

Ensign (of Bragg's) made a terrible clangour: 
But for the Ladies had drawn his hanger ! 



The "Ballad of Beau Brocade 

Robber, of course, was "Beau Brocade"; 
Out-spoke Dolly the Chambermaid. 

Devonshire Dolly, plump and red. 
Spoke from the gallery overhead ; — 

Spoke it out boldly, staring hard : — 
*^Why didn't you shoot then, George the 
Guard ? " 

Spoke it out bolder, seeing him mute : — 

" George the Guard, v^hy didn't you shoot ? " 

Portly John grew pale and red, 
(John was afraid of her, people said ;) 

Gasped that " Dolly was surely cracked," 
(John was afraid of her — that's a faft!) 

George the Guard grew red and pale. 
Slowly finished his quart of ale : — 



— ^^?^\^^^ 


Jforqe tiy'^ Cixsx.i^' 

'J, .^ ^""^^"^^^'J^twAe^^-^-^^fr "^^^ (^^"iamSer yva('c{ 

The ballad of *Beau "Brocade 

"Shoot? Why— Rabbit him!— didn't he shoot?" 
Muttered — " The Baggage was far too 'cute ! " 

" Shoot ? Why he'd flashed the pan in his eye !" 
Muttered — '^ She'd pay for it by and by ! " 
Further than this made no reply. 

Nor could a further reply be made, 
For George was in league with "Beau Bro- 

And John the Host, in his wakefullest state, 
Was not — on the whole — immaculate. 

But nobody's virtue was over-nice 

When Walpole talked of "a man and his price"; 

And wherever Purity found abode, 
'Twas certainly not on a posting road 

"Forty" followed to "Thirty-nine." 
Glorious days of the Hanover line ! 

Princes were born, and drums were banged j 
Now and then batches of Highwaymen hanged. 

"Glorious news!" — from the Spanish Main', 
Porto-Bello at last was ta'en. 

"Glorious news!"— for the liquor trade; 
Nobody dreamed of "Beau Brocade.'* 

The "Ballad of "Beau Brocade 

People were thinking o^ Spanish Crowns , 
Money was coming from seaport towns! 

Nobody dreamed of " Beau Brocade," 
(Only Dolly the Chambermaid!) 

Blessings on Vernon! Fill up the cans; 
Money was coming in " i^/y^" and " Vans^ 

Possibly, John the Host had heard; 
Also, certainly, George the Guard. 

And Dolly had possibly tidings, too, 
That made her rise from her bed anew, 

Plump as ever, but stern of eye. 

With a fixed intention to warn the *' iTy." 

Lingering only at John his door, 
Just to make sure of a jerky snore ; 


"The ballad of 'Beau 'Brocade 

Saddling the gray mare. Dumpling Star; 
Fetching the pistol out of the bar; 

(The old horse-pistol that, they say, 
Came from the battle of Maiplaquety) 

Loading with powder that maids would use, 
Even in " Forty," to clear the flues ; 

And a couple of silver buttons, the Squire 
Gave her, away in Devonshire, 

These she wadded — for want of better — 
With the B — sh — p of L — nd — n's "Pastoral 
Letter " ; 

Looked to the flint, and hung the whole, 
Ready to use, at her pocket-hole. 

'V .^^-7 

Jacff/Ti^rx^ fAe ^'ray'^cive 



Craftcrpcf'aurcry /o ?XaJcmanS%(Cy 

^B The ballad of "Beau "Brocade 

^Rfhus equipped and accoutred, Dolly 
^■Clattered away to ^^ Exciseman's Folly^^ \ — 

Such was the name of a ruined abode, 
Just on the edge of the London road. 

Thence she thought she might safely try. 
As soon as she saw it, to warn the "/Ty." 

But, as chance fell out, her rein she drew, 
As the Beau came cantering into the view. 

By the light of the moon she could see him drest 
In his famous gold-sprigged tambour vest; 

And under his silver-gray surtout. 
The laced, historical coat of blue, 

That he wore when he went to London-Spaw^ 
And robbed Sir Mungo Mucklethraw. 

T*he ballad of 'Beau Brocade 

Out-spoke Dolly the Chambermaid, 

(Trembling a Httle, but not afraid,) 

"Stand and Deliver, O 'Beau Brocade'!" 

But the Beau rode nearer, and would not speak. 
For he saw by the moonlight a rosy cheek; 

And a spavined mare with a rusty hide; 
And a girl with her hand at her pocket-side. 

So never a word he spoke as yet, 

For he thought 'twas a freak of Meg or Bet; — 

A freak of the ^'Rose^' or the '^ Rummer ^^ set. 

Out-spoke Dolly the Chambermaid, 

(Tremulous now, and sore afraid,) 

"Stand and Deliver, O 'Beau Brocade '!" — 

Firing then, out of sheer alarm. 
Hit the Beau in the bridle-arm. 

Omc CayxteriYx^ .nia %c V.pUt" 

The ballad of ^eau brocade 

Button the first went none knows where. 
But it carried away his solitaire \ 

Button the second a circuit made, 
Glanced in under the shoulder blade; — 
Down from the saddle fell "Beau Brocade"! 

Down from the saddle and never stirred ! — 
Dolly grew white as a Windsor curd. 

Slipped not less from the mare, and bound 
Strips of her kirtle about his wound. 

Then, lest his Worship should rise and flee. 
Fettered his ankles — tenderly. 

Jumped on his chestnut, Bet the fleet 
(Called after Bet of Portugal Street)-^ 

Roused fat John from a three-fold snore ;- 

The "Ballad of Beau Brocade 

Vowed she'd 'peach if he misbehaved . . . 
Briefly, the " Plymouth Fly " was saved ! 

Staines and Windsor were all on fire: — 
Dolly was wed to a Yorkshire squire; 
Went to town at the K — g's desire ! 

But whether His M — j — sty saw her or not, 
Hogarth jotted her down on the spot; 

And something of Dolly one still may trace 
In the fresh contours of his " MilkmaicCs " face. 

George the Guard fled over the sea: 
John had a fit — of perplexity; 

a/u-rnec/'yx^-nci'j Ctit/enc 

I. The "Ballad of "Beau Brocade 

Turned King's evidence, sad to state; — 
But John was never immaculate. 

As for the Beau, he v^^as duly tried, 

When his v^ound v^as healed, at Whitsuntide \ 

Served — for a day — as the last of " sights," 

To the v^orld o^ St, James'sStreet and ^'' White's^'' 

Went on his w^ay to Tyburn Tree, 
With a pomp befitting his high degree. 

Every privilege rank confers: — 
Bouquet of pinks at St. Sepulchre' 5\ 

Flagon of ale at Holborn Bar-, 
Friends {in mourning) to follow his Car — 
("t" is omitted where Heroes are!) 

The "Ballad of Beau Brocade 

Every one knows the speech he made; 
Swore that he " rather admired the Jade! " — 

Waved to the crowd with his gold-laced hat: 
Talked to the Chaplain after that; 

Turned to the Topsman undismayed . . . 
This was the finish of Beau Brocade"! 

And this is the Ballad that seemed to hide 

In the leaves of a dusty "Londoner's Guide"; 

" Humbly inscrib'd^' (with curls and tails) 

By the Author to Frederick, Prince of W ales:— 

" Published by Francis and Oliver Pine; 
Ludgate-Hill^ at the Blackmoor Sign. 
Seventeen- Hundred-and'Thirty-Nine,^^ 




W M E lived in that past Georgian day, 
<4m.J/ When men were less inclined to 
That '' Time is Gold," and overlay 

With toil their pleasure; 
He held some land, and dwelt thereon, — 
Where, I forget, — the house is gone; 
His Christian name, I think, was John,— 
His surname. Leisure. 

<iA Qentleman of the Old School 

Reynolds has painted him, — a face 
Filled with a fine, old-fashioned grace, 
Fresh-coloured, frank, with ne'er a trace 

Of trouble shaded; 
The eyes are blue, the hair is drest 
In plainest way, — one hand is prest 
Deep in a flapped canary vest. 

With buds brocaded. 

He wears a brown old Brunswick coat. 
With silver buttons, — round his throat, 
A soft cravat ; — in all you note 

An elder fashion, — 
A strangeness, which, to us who shine 
In shapely hats, — whose coats combine 
All harmonies of hue and line. 

Inspires compassion. 



c/f Qentleman of the Old School 

He lived so long ago, you see! 
Men were untravelled then, but we. 
Like Ariel, post o'er land and sea 

With careless parting; 

He found it quite enough for him 
To smoke his pipe in "garden trim," 
And watch, about the fish tank's brim, 
The swallows darting. 


c// Qentleman of the Old School 

He liked the well-wheel's creaking tongues- 
He liked the thrush that stopped and sung,- 
He liked the drone of flies among 

His netted peaches; 
He liked to watch the sunlight fall 
Athwart his ivied orchard wall; 
Or pause to catch the cuckoo's call 

Beyond the beeches. 

His were the times of Paint and Patch, 
And yet no Ranelagh could match 
The sober doves that round his thatch 

Spread tails and sidled ; 
He liked their rufliing, puflFed content,— 
For him their drowsy wheelings meant 
More than a Mall of Beaux that bent, 

Or Belles that bridled. 



Jt Qentleman of the Old School 

Not that, in truth, when life began 
He shunned the flutter of the fan; 

^ ^t^' 

He too had maybe " pinked his man " 
In Beauty's quarrel; 

zA Qentleman of the Old School 


H -^^^ ^^^ ^^^ " fervent youth " had flown 
IB Where lost things go; and he was grown 


%Mi(.Ml /S^ X}I^Cro^<^f, 

As staid and slow-paced as his own 
Old hunter, Sorrel. 

^M^r/^^''■ '/// 

1 \-i/y 'f '•! , 

(i/f Qentleman of the Old School 

Yet still he loved the chase, and held 

That no composer's score excelled 

The merry horn, when Sweetlip swelled 

Its jovial riot; 
But most his measured words of praise 
Caressed the angler's easy ways, — 
His idly meditative days, — ^ 

His rustic diet. 

Not that his " meditating " rose 
Beyond a sunny summer doze; 
He never troubled his repose 

With fruitless prying; 
But held, as law for high and low. 
What God withholds no man can know. 
And smiled away inquiry so, 

Without replying. 


zA Qentleman of the Old School 

We read — alas, how much we read ! — 
The jumbled strifes of creed and creed 
With endless controversies feed 

Our groaning tables; 
His books — and they sufficed him — were 
Cotton's "Montaigne," "The Grave" of Blair, 
A " Walton " — much the worse for wear. 

And "^sop's Fables." 

One more, — " The Bible." Not that he 
Had searched its page as deep as we; 
No sophistries could make him see 

Its slender credit; 
It may be that he could not count 
The sires and sons to Jesse's fount, — 
He liked the " Sermon on the Mount," — 

And more, he read it. 



<^ Qentleman of the Old School 

Once he had loved, but failed to wed, 
A red-cheeked lass who long was dead; 
His ways were far too slow, he said. 

To quite forget her; 
And still when time had turned him gray, 
The earliest hawthorn buds in May 
Would find his lingering feet astray. 

Where first he met her. 

" In Ccelo ^ies " heads the stone 

On Leisure's grave, — now little known, 

A tangle of wild-rose has grown 

So thick across it; 
The " Benefaftions " still declare 
He left the clerk an elbow-chair. 
And " 12 Pence Yearly to Prepare 

A Christmas Posset." 


c/f Qentleman of the Old School 

'Lie softly, Leisure ! Doubtless you, 
With too serene a conscience drew 
Your easy breath, and slumbered through 

The gravest issue; 
But we, to whom our age allows 
Scarce space to wipe our weary brows. 
Look down upon your narrow house. 

Old friend, and miss you ! 




f/ieortce f\QcC SQ^y\ i/x^era^q'.- 

L|Gentfew<>i5T oftf7e OfcT gc/iooTj^ 

HE lived in Georgian era too. 
Most women then, if bards 
be true. 
Succumbed to Routs and Cards, or grew 

Devout and acid. 
But hers was neither fate. She came 
Of good west-country folk, whose fame 
Has faded now. For us her name 
Is "Madam Placid." 

c/f Qentlewoman of the Old School 

Patience or Prudence, — what you will. 
Some prefix faintly fragrant still 
As those old musky scents that fill 

Our grandams' pillows; 
And for her youthful portrait take 
Some long-waist child of Hudson's make, 
Stiffly at ease beside a lake 

With swans and willows. 

I keep her later semblance placed 
Beside my desk, — 'tis lawned and laced. 
In shadowy sanguine stipple traced 

By Bartolozzi; 
A placid face, in which surprise 
Is seldom seen, but yet there lies 
Some vestige of the laughing eyes 

Of arch Piozzi. 


<^ Qentlewoman of the Old School 

For her e'en Time grew debonair. 
He, finding cheeks unclaimed of care, 
With late-delayed faint roses there, 

And lingering dimples, 
Had spared to touch the fair old face, 
And only kissed with Vauxhall grace 
The soft white hand that stroked her lace. 
Or smoothed her wimples. 

So left her beautiful. Her age 
Was comely as her youth was sage. 
And yet she once had been the rage 5 — 

It hath been hinted, 
Indeed, affirmed by one or two, 
Some spark at Bath (as sparks will do) 
Inscribed a song to "Lovely Prue," 
Which Urban printed. 


zA Qentlewoman of the Old School 

I know she thought; I know she felt; 
Perchance could sum, I doubt she spelt; 
She knew as little of the Celt 

As of the Saxon; 
I know she played and sang, for yet 
We keep the tumble-down spinet 
To which she quavered ballads set 

By Arne or Jackson, 

Her tastes were not refined as ours; 
She liked plain food and homely flowers, 
Refused to paint, kept early hours, 

Went clad demurely; 
Her art was sampler-work design, 
Fireworks for her were " vastly fine," 
Her luxury was elder-wine, — 

She loved that ^' purely." 


Cuarm coetft^/o'o^oiy totMc/our-tJecO^ 

c/f Qentlewoman of the Old School 

She was renowned, traditions say, 

For June conserves, for curds and whey, 

For finest tea (she called it " tay "), 

And ratafia; 
She knew, for sprains, what bands to choose. 
Could tell the sovereign wash to use 
For freckles, and was learned in brews 

As erst Medea. 

Yet studied little. She would read. 
On Sundays, " Pearson on the Creed," 
Though, as I think, she could not heed 

His text profoundly ; 
Seeing she chose for her retreat 
The warm west-looking window-seat. 
Where, if you chanced to raise your feet, 

You slumbered soundly. 


z4 Qentlewoman of the Old School 

This, 'twixt ourselves. The dear old dame. 
In truth, was not so much to blame; 
The excellent divine I name 

Is scarcely stirring; 
Her plain-song piety preferred 
Pure life to precept.. If she erred, 
She knew her faults. Her softest word 

Was for the erring. 

If she had loved, or if she kept 
Some ancient memory green, or wept 
Over the shoulder-knot that slept 

Within her cufF-box, 
I know not. Only this I know, 
At sixty-five she'd still her beau, 
A lean French exile, lame and slow. 

With monstrous snufF-box. 



Qacklmg (au^ffter^ 

(l4 Qentlewoman of the Old School 

Younger than she, well-born and bred. 
She'd found him in St. Giles', half dead 
Of teaching French for nightly bed 

And daily dinners; 
Starving, in faft, 'twixt want and pride; 
And so, henceforth, you always spied 
His rusty " pigeon-wings " beside 

Her Mechlin pinners. 

He worshipped her, you may suppose. 
She gained him pupils, gave him clothes, 
Delighted in his dry bons-mots 

And cackling laughter; 
And when, at last, the long duet 
Of conversation and picquet 
Ceased with her death, of sheer regret 

He died soon after. 


dd Qentlewoman of the Old School 

Dear Madam Placid ! Others knew 
Your worth as well as he, and threw 
Their flowers upon your coffin too, 

I take for granted. 
Their loves are lost; but still we see 
Your kind and gracious memory 
Bloom yearly with the almond tree 

The Frenchman planted. 



'" vC^e^^^^rT^"^- 




" What V not destroy' d by Timers devouring Hand? 
Where V Troy, and ^-w here 'j the May- Pole in the Strand? " 
Bramston's "Art of Politicks." 

^T stands in the stable-yard, under the eaves, 
Propped up by a broom-stick and covered with 

It once w^as the pride of the gay and the fair, 
But now 'tis a ruin, — that old Sedan chair! 


The Old Sedan Chair 

It is battered and tattered, — it little avails 

That once it was lacquered, and glistened with 

nails ; • 

For its leather is cracked into lozenge and square. 
Like a canvas by Wilkie, — that old Sedan chair ! 

See, — here came the bearing-straps ; here were the 

For the poles of the bearers — when once there 

were poles ; 
It was cushioned with silk, it was wadded with 

As the birds have discovered, — that old Sedan 

chair ! 

" Where's Troy ? " says the poet ! Look, — under 

the seat. 
Is a nest with four eggs, — 'tis the favoured retreat 
Of the Muscovy hen, who has hatched, I dare 

Quite an army of chicks in that old Sedan chair! 

T^he Old Sedan Chair 

And yet — Can't you fancy a face In the frame 
Of the window, — some high-headed damsel or 

Be-patched and be-powdered, just set by the 

While they raise up the lid of that old Sedan 


Can't you fancy Sir Plume, as beside her he 

stands, , 

With his ruffles a-droop on his delicate hands. 
With his cinnamon coat, with his laced solitaire, 
As he lifts her out light from that old Sedan 

Then it swings away slowly. Ah, many a league 
It has trotted 'twixt sturdy-legged Terence and 

Teague ; 
Stout fellows ! — but prone, on a question of fare. 
To brandish the poles of that old Sedan chair ! 


T*he Old Sedan Chair 

It has waited by portals where Garrick has played ; 
It has waited by Heidegger's " Grand Masquer- 
For my Lady Codille, for my Lady Bellair, 
It has waited — and waited, that old Sedan chair ! 

Oh, the scandals it knows ! Oh, the tales it could 

Of Drum and Ridotto, of Rake and of Belle, — 
Of Cock-fight and Levee, and (scarcely more 

rare !) 
Of Fete-days at Tyburn, that old Sedan chair ! 

" Heu I quantum mutata^'* I say as I go. 

It deserves better fate than a stable-yard, though ! 

We must furbish it up, and dispatch it, — " With 

To a Fine-Art Museum — that old Sedan chair ! 



^(fy pre/a^i^ . 

_,^M^d ---- 

\w ^Vacoj are four aricf iHe^i:r>uJM itvo, 
\c{ieri (of the -nuvnSer o/'JHujtJ ; 
Q fluje ancfu (Jrace anc/'a Ifnu^r are yo«^ r\i^y 

he wrote, the old bard of an "old maga- 

As a study it not without use is. 
If we wonder a moment who she may have been, 
This same "little Molly Trefusis!" 

She was Cornish. We know that at once by the 

Then of guessing it scarce an abuse is 
If we say that where Bude bellows back to the 
Was the birthplace of Molly Trefusis. 

dually Trefusis 

And she lived in the era of patches and bows, 
Not knowing what rouge or ceruse is; 

For they needed (I trust) but her natural rose, 
The Hlies of Molly Trefusis. 

And I somehow conneft her (I frankly admit 
That the evidence hard to produce is) 

With Bath in its hey-day of Fashion and Wit,- 
This dangerous Molly Trefusis. 

I fancy her, radiant in ribbon and knot, 

(How charming that old-fashioned puce is!) 

All blooming in laces, fal-lals and what not, 
At the Pump Room, — Miss Molly Trefusis. 


O^olly Trefusis 

I fancy her reigning, — a Beauty, — a Toast, 
Where Bladud's medicinal cruse is; 

And we know that at least of one Bard it could 
boast, — 
The Court of Queen Molly Trefusis, 

He says she was "Venus." I doubt it. Beside, 
(Your rhymer so hopelessly loose is!) 

His "little" could scarce be to Venus applied. 
If fitly to Molly Trefusis. 

No, no. It was Hebe he had in his mind; 

And fresh as the handmaid of Zeus is. 
And rosy, and rounded, and dimpled, — you'll 
find, — 

Was certainly Molly Trefusis ! 


Jdolly Trefusis 

Then he calls her " a Muse." To the charge I 
That we all of us know what a Muse is; 

It is something too awful, — too acid, — too dry, — 
For sunny-eyed Molly Trefusis. 

But " a Grace." There I grant he was probably 

(The rest but a verse-making ruse is) 
It was all that was graceful, — intangible, — hght. 

The beauty of Molly Trefusis ! 

Was she wooed? Who can hesitate much about 

Assuredly more than obtuse is; 
For how could the poet have written so pat 

''My dear little Molly Trefusis!" 


u/cuanT ?» /vi^'^^A-jo/ xAe QfjQr^ 

3V[olly Trefusis 

And was wed? That I think we must plainly 

Since of suitors the common excuse is 
To take to them Wives. So it happened to her, 

Of course,—" little Molly Trefusis ! " 

To the Bard? 'Tis unlikely. Apollo, you see. 

In praftical matters a goose is; — 
'Twas a knight of the shire, and a hunting J. P., 

Who carried off Molly Trefusis ! 

And you'll find, I conclude, in the ^^Gentleman's 
At the end, where the pick of the news is, 
'^On the (blank), at 'the Bath^' to Sir Hilary 
With a Fortune, Miss Molly Trefusis." 


dually Trefusis 

Thereupon . . But no farther the student may pry: 

Love's temple is dark as Eleusis; 
So here, at the threshold, we part, you and I, 

From " dear little Molly Trefusis." 



^"' -i^ '^ 




e/l^noT ^y! Cl^arihe CUoy* 


^Phylllda amo ante alias.'"' 


^ HE ladies of St. James's 

Go swinging to the play; 
Their footmen run before them, 

With a "Stand by! Clear the way!" 
But Phyllida, my Phyllida! 

She takes her buckled shoon, 
When we go out a-courting 
Beneath the harvest moon. 


"The Ladies of St, James's 

The ladies of St. James's 

Wear satin on their backs; 
They sit all night at Ombre^ 

With candles all of wax: 
But Phyllida, my Phyllida! 

She dons her russet gown, 
And runs to gather May dew 

Before the world is down. 

The ladies of St. James's! 

They are so fine and fair, 
You'd think a box of essences 

Was broken in the air: 
But Phyllida, my PhylHda! 

The breath of heath and furze, 
When breezes blow at morning, 

Is not so fresh as hers. 


:? ^ 


/ < 

^^ %A;/' ' 

-/Aey /jtw-n on you. - ^r oog^Aj^ 

'Hhe Ladies of St. James's 

The ladies of St. James's! 

They're painted to the eyes; 
Their white it stays for ever, 

Their red it never dies: 
But Phyllida, my Phyllida! 

Her colour comes and goesj 
It trembles to a lily, — 

It v^avers to a rose. 

The ladies of St. James's ! 

You scarce can understand 
The half of all their speeches. 

Their phrases are so grand: 
But PhylHda, my Phyllida! 

Her shy and simple v^ords 
Are clear as after rain-drops 

The music of the birds. 


The Ladies of Sl James's 

The ladies of St. James's! 

They have their fits and freaks; 
They smile on you — for seconds, 

They frown on you — for weeks: 
But Phyllida, my Phyllida! 

Come either storm or shine, 
From Shrove-tide unto Shrove-tide, 

Is always true — and mine. 

My Phyllida! my Phyllida! 

I care not though they heap 
The hearts of all St. James's, 

And give me all to keep; 
I care not whose the beauties 

Of all the world may be. 
For Phyllida— for PhylHda 

Is all the world to me ! 




lipjje— CornSre etteSiTena 
W) ^X^ Tf- (ft J^CzQc. 

DREW it from its china 
tomb; — 
It came out feebly scented 
With some thin ghost of past 
That dust and days had lent it. 

An old, old letter, — folded still ! 

To read with due composure, 
I sought the sun-lit window-sill, 

Above the gray enclosure, 

<iA T>ead Letter 

That glimmering in the sultry haze, 

Faint-flowered, dimly shaded, 
Slumbered like Goldsmith's Madam Blaize, 

Bedizened and brocaded. 

A queer old place! You'd surely say 
Some tea-board garden-maker 

Had planned it in Dutch William's day 
To please some florist Quaker, 

So trim it was. The yew-trees still, 

With pious care perverted, 
Grew in the same grim shapes; and still 

The lipless dolphin spurted ; 

Still in his wonted state abode 

The broken-nosed Apollo; 
And still the cypress-arbour showed 

The same umbrageous hollow. 

<tA Dead Letter 

Only, — as fresh young Beauty gleams 
From coffee-coloured laces, — 

So peeped from its old-fashioned dreams 
The fresher modern traces; 

For idle mallet, hoop, and ball 

Upon the lawn were lying; 
A magazine, a tumbled shawl. 

Round which the swifts were flying; 

And tossed beside the Guelder rose, 

A heap of rainbow knitting, 
Where, blinking in her pleased repose, 

A Persian cat was sitting. 

"A place to love in, — live, — for aye. 

If we too, like Tithonus, 
Could find some God to stretch the gray, 

Scant life the Fates have thrown us; 

qA T)ead Letter 

" But now by steam we run our race, 
With buttoned heart and pocket; 

Our Love's a gilded, surplus grace, — 
Just like an empty locket ! 

"'The time is out of joint.' Who will. 
May strive to make it better; 

For me, this warm old window-sill. 
And this old dusty letter." 

" Dear John (the letter ran), it can't, can't be, 
For Father 's gone to Chorley Fair with Sam^ 

And Mother's storing Apples, — Prue and Me 
Up to our Elbows making Damson Jam: 

But we shall meet before a Week is gone, — 

^'Tis a long Lane that has no Turning,' John\ 



c/f T>ead Letter 

" Only till Sunday next, and then you'll wait 
Behind the White-Thorn, by the broken Stile — 

We can go round and catch them at the Gate, 
All to Ourselves, for nearly one long Mile; 

Dear Prue won't look, and Father he'll go on. 

And Sam's two Eyes are all for Cissy ^ John\ 

'^John^ she 's so smart, — with every Ribbon new, 
Flame-coloured Sack, and Crimson Padesoy: 

As proud as proud; and has the Vapours too. 
Just like My Lady; — calls poor Sam a Boy, 

And vows no Sweet-heart 's worth the Thinking- 

Till he's past Thirty ... I know better, "JohnX 

"My Dear, I don't think that I thought of much 
Before we knew each other, I and you; 

And now, why, John^ your least, least Finger- 
Gives me enough to think a Summer through. 


<:A T>ead Letter 

See, for I send you Something ! There, 'tis gone ! 
Look in this corner, — mind you find it, John\ " 


This was the matter of the note, — 

A long-forgot deposit. 
Dropped in an Indian dragon's throat. 

Deep in a fragrant closet, 

Piled with a dapper Dresden world, — 
Beaux, beauties, prayers, and poses, — 

Bonzes with squat legs undercurled. 
And great jars filled with roses. 

Ah, heart that wrote! Ah, lips that kissed! 

You had no thought or presage 
Into what keeping you dismissed 

Your simple old-world message! 


<tA Dead Letter /. \ 

A reverent one. Though we to-day 
Distrust behefs and powers, 

The artless, ageless things you say 
Are fresh as May's own flowers. 

Starring some pure primeval spring. 
Ere Gold had grown despotic, — 

Ere Life was yet a selfish thing. 
Or Love, a mere exotic ! 

I need not search too much to find 

Whose lot it was to send it, 
That feel upon me yet the kind. 

Soft hand of her who penned itj 

And see, through two score years of smoke, 

In by-gone, quaint apparel. 
Shine from yon time-black Norway oak 

The face of Patience Caryl, — 


: V ' . ' ; ; : : ,\ <i^T)ead Letter 

The pale, smooth forehead, silver- tressed ; 

The gray gown, primly flowered ; 
The spotless, stately coif whose crest 

Like Heftor's horse-plume towered; 

And still the sweet half-solemn look 
Where some past thought was clinging, 

As when one shuts a serious book 
To hear the thrushes singing. 

I kneel to you! Of those you were. 

Whose kind old hearts grow mellow, — 

Whose fair old faces grow more fair 
As Point and Flanders yellow ; 

Whom some old store of garnered grief. 
Their placid temples shading. 

Crowns like a wreath of autumn leaf 
With tender tints of fading. . 


c// T>ead Letter 

Peace to your soul! You died unwed — 

Despite this loving letter. 
And what of John? The less that's said 

Of John, I think, the better. 



(grandpapa loquitur.) 

"OU don't know Froissart noWjyoung folks, 
This age, I think, prefers recitals 
Of high-spiced crime, with " slang " for jokes, 
And startling titles; 

But, in my time, when still some few 

Loved "old Montaigne," and praised Pope's 
(Nay, thought to style him *'poet" too. 

Were scarce misnomer), 

<tA Chapter of Froissart 

Sir John was less ignored. Indeed, 

I can re-call how Some-one present 
(Who spoils her grandson, Frank!) would read, 
And find him pleasant; 

For, — -by this copy, — hangs a Tale. 

Long since, in an old house in Surrey, 
Where men knew more of " morning ale " 
Than " Lindley Murray," 

In a dim-lighted, whip-hung hall, 

'Neath Hogarth's " Midnight Conversation," 
If stood; and oft 'twixt spring and fall. 
With fond elation, 

I turned the brown old leaves. For there. 
All through one hopeful happy summer. 
At such a page (I well knew where). 
Some secret comer, 

t^'^-n j-oif-fea/ Jor Orc/)ar'(fcorr}C'^' 

<i4 Chapter of Froissart 

Whom I can pi6lure, 'Trix, like you 

(Though scarcely such a colt unbroken), 
Would sometimes place for private view 
A certain token; — 

A rose-leaf meaning " Garden Wall," 

An ivy-leaf for " Orchard corner," 
A thorn to say, " Don't come at all," — 
Unwelcome warner! — 

Not that, in truth, our friends gainsaid; 

But then Romance required dissembling, 
(Ann RadclifFe taught us that!) which bred 
Some genuine trembling; 

Though, as a rule, all used to end 
In such kind confidential parley 
As may to you kind Fortune send, 

You long-legged Charlie, 

<^ Chapter of Froissart 

When your time comes. How years slip on! 

We had our crosses like our betters; 
Fate sometimes looked askance upon 
Those floral letters; 

And once, for three long days disdained, 

The dust upon the folio settled; 
For some-one, in the right, was pained, 
And some-one nettled. 

That sure was in the wrong, but spake 

Of fixed intent and purpose stony 
To serve King George, enlist and make 

Minced-meat of " Boney," 

Who yet survived — ten years at least. 

And so, when she I mean came hither 
One day that need for letters ceased. 

She brought this with her. 

<v/ Chapter of Froissart 

Here is the leaf-stained Chapter: — How 
The English King laid Siege to Calais; 
I think Gran, knows it even now, — 
Go ask her, Alice. 




T^he Ballad of Beau Brocade. — There is no foundation in 
fa6l for this ballad. It has, however, been gravely asked 
how a story, some of the incidents of which take place in 
1 740, can have been suggested by a book published in 1739. 
Those who are oppressed by this delicate difficulty can — 
if they please — mentally substitute Forty -Nine for Thirty - 
Nine in the final line. 

Note i, Page 3. 
*'^ Shared its glories nvith Westminster." — Westminster 
is now '* swallowed up in the general vortex of modern 
London" (Wheatley and Cunningham's London^ 1891, iii. 

Note 2, Page 4. 
'-'-Went out of to-ivn to Marybone." — ** Many persons 
arrived in town from their country-houses in Marybone'' 
{Daily Journal, 061. 15, 1728). 

Note 3, Page 4. 
" Whitefield preached to the colliers grim'^ — ** Bristol, 
The Rev. Mr. Whitefield , . . has been wonderfully laborious 



and successful, especially among the poor Prisoners in Ne^w- 
gate and the rude Colliers of Kings^wod. ... On Saturday 
the 1 8th instant [March] he preached at Hannum Mount to 
5 or 6000 Persons, amongst them many Colliers " {Gentle- 
man's Magazine^ March, 1739, vol. ix., p. 162). 

Note 4, Page 4. 
" Walpole talked of' a man and his price.'' " — This has 
been contradifted by the more literal historians. But it is 
sufficiently true for poetical purposes. 

Note 5, Page 6. 
*' Inhere ^-was Barber Dick."" — These two personages are 
borrowed from Plate ii. of Hogarth's EleSiion Series (** Can- 
vassing for Votes"). 

Note 6, Page 9. 
" HighiAjayman''s manners.''^ — " On Friday in the After- 
noon, between Three and Four o'Clock, the Bath Stage- 
Coach was robbed by a single Highwayman about two 
Miles this Side of Maidenhead, who took from the 
Passengers between four and five Pounds, behanjed 'very 
genteely^ and made off'' [Co^jent Garden Journal^ loth 
March, 1752). 

Note 7, Page 10. 
" ( That V 'where the best strong ^waters are ly^ —Strong 
waters — e.g.j Barbadoes- water, citron-water, etc. — were 



restorative cordials, much afFe6led by the fair sex. In 
Richardson's Familiar Letters, 174.1, p. 163, a sailor sends 
his Peggy from Barbadoes six bottles of citron-water. 
" It is what, they say, Ladies drink, when they can get it." 

Note 8, Page 12. 
^^ Ensign (o/Bragg's)." — Despite its suspicious appropri- 
ateness in this case, ** Bragg's '' regiment of Foot-Guards 
really existed, and was ordered to Flanders in April, 1742 
(see Gentleman'' s Magazine, 1742, i. ^i7). In 1759 Wolfe 
was leading it at Quebec when he was mortally wounded. 

Note 9, Page 12. 
** But for the Ladies haddranvn his hanger ! " — A hanger is 
" a broad, crooked, short sword " (Bailey). Tom Bowling 
[Roderick Random, ch. iii.) wears "an hanger with a brass 
handle," and Commodore Trunnion, going to his marriage, 
is equipped with *' a huge hanger, with a hilt like that of 
a backsword" [Peregrine Pickle, ch. viii.). 

Note 10, Page 16. 
*' For George njuas in league."" — " That these suspicions 
[of connivance] were not without foundation is proved by 
^he dying speeches of some penitent robbers of that age, 
who appear to have received from the inn-keepers services 
much resembling those which Farquhar's Boniface [in the 
Beaux^ Stratagem'] rendered to Gibbet" (Macaulay's 
History of England ^ ed. 1864, i. p. 181). 


Note ii, Page 17. 
"Porto-Bello at last nvas to'en^ — Porto-Bello was 
taken in November, 1739, but Vice- Admiral Vernon's 
despatches did not reach England until the following March 
see Gentleman^ s Magazine^ 174O) i. 124 et seq.). 

Note 12, Page 20. 
" With the B — SH — p of I. — nd — n's ' Pastoral Letter P^ — 
A Pastoral Letter was issued by the Bishop of London in 
August, 1739. ^^ ^^^ ^^ once answered by Whitefield. 

Note 13, Page 23. 
"J« his famous gold sprigged tambour ^estP — This em- 
broidery was so called from being worked on a drum- 
shaped frame. " Your occasional tropes and flowers suit 
the general coarseness of your style, as tambour sprigs would 
a ground of linsey-woolsey^' (Sheridan's Critic^ i779j 
Aa L, sc. i.). 

Note 14, Page 23. 
" London-Spa'w y — A tavern and pleasure-garden at the 
corner of Rosoman Street and Exmouth Street, Clerkenwell, 
having a noted chalybeate spring on the premises. 

*' Sweethearts with their sweethearts go 
To Islington or London-Spa^w, 
Some go but just to drink the water. 
Some for the ale which they like better." 

{Poor Robin^s Almanack, J 73 3-) 



Note 15, Page 24. 
" A freak of the * Rose ' or the * Rummer' set.'' — The 
"Rose" was a famous tavern at Covent Garden j the 
"Rummer" was at Charing. Cross. 

Note 16, Page 26. 
** his solitaire." — A loose neck-tie of black silk, generally 
affixed to the bag of the wig (Fairholt). 

Note 17, Page 26. 
" {Called after Bet of Portugal Street):'— Voxtug^iX Street, 
Lincoln's Inn Fields. 

Note 18, Page 27. 
" /« the fresh contours of his ' Milkmaid's' yixr^." — See 
the Enraged Musician, an engraving of which was published 
in November of the following year (1741), 

Note 19, Page 29. 
" Ser'ved^for a day" — Walpole [Letters, 1857, ^'* 219) 
says that " half White's," with Lord Mountford at their 
head, went to see James Maclean (the "gentleman high- 
wayman ") in prison. Also that Lady Caroline Petersham 
and Miss Ashe had been to comfort and weep over him. 
Maclean was hanged on 061ober 3, 1750, for robbing the 
Salisbury Coach, near Turnham Green. 


Note 20, Page 29. 

" White's '* was a famous coffee-house in St. James's 

" Aimivell. Pray, Sir, ha'n't I seen your Face at WilPs 
Coffee-house ? 

Gibbet. Yes, Sir, and at Whitens too/' (Fatquhar's 
Beaux' Stratagem^ A61 I IT., sc. ii.) 

Note 21, Page 29. 

^^With a pomp befitting his high degree P — Fielding [Co-vent 
Garden Journal^ 27th April, 1752) says: "This Day five 
Malefa6^ors were executed at Tyburn. No Heroes within 
the Memory of Man ever met their Fate with more Bold- 
ness and Intrepidity, and consequently with more felonious 

Elsewhere he says (March 27) : " The real Fa6l at present 
is, that instead of making the Gallows an Obje6l of Terror, 
our Executions contribute to make it an Obje61: of Con- 
tempt in the Eye of a Malefa6lorj and we sacrifice the 
Lives of Men, not for [the italics are Fielding's] the Re- 
formation, but for the Diversion of the Populace.''^ Cf. also 
Macaulay's History of England, ed. 1864, i. 182. 

Note 22, Page 29. 
" Bouquet of pinks," — *' Another curious custom observed 
at this church [St. Sepulchre's] was that of presenting a 
nosegay to every criminal on his way to Tyburn " (Wheatley 
and Cunningham's London, 1891, iii. 229, 230). 



Note 23, Page 29. 
" Flagon of ale at Holborn Bar." — Holborn Bar, or Bars, 
marks the boundary In Holborn of the City Liberties. It 
was on the official route from Newgate to Tyburn. 

Note 24, Page 29. 
** Friends {in mourning) to folloiv his Car^ — *' He 
[Richard Turpin, alias John Palmer, hanged at York, 7th 
April, 1739] gave 3/. 10/. to 5 Men who were to follow the 
Cart as Mourners, with Hatbands and Gloves to them and 
several others" {Gentleman s Magazine^ April, 1739, vol. ^^' 

Note 25, Page 30. 
" Topsman " — i.e.^ the hangman. In the Tyburn scene of 
Hogarth's Apprentice Series (PI. xi.) he may be seen sitting 
at the top of the triple tree. 

Note 26, Page 43. 
" What God ^withholds no man can kno^v.'" — 
" Nescire velle quae Magister optimus 
Docere non vult, erudita inscitia est.'' 


Note 27, Page 51. 
A Gentlewoman of the Old School. — The 
Bachelor Samson Carrasco in Don ^ixote had his doubt 
about Second Parts, and there is a like prejudice against 


Companion Pi6^ures. A Gentlewoman of the Old School 
would probably have remained unwritten if an uninvited 
pendant to its forerunner (which originally came out in 
St. PauFs Magazine for July, 1870) had not made its 
appearance in Chambers^ s Journal for July 8, 187 1. 

Note 28, Page 69. 

** Tb brandish the poles of that old Sedan chair T'' — A 
friendly but anonymous critic, whose versatile pen it is not 
easy to mistake, recalls, a-propos of the above, the following 
passage from Moliere, which shows that Chairmen were 
much the same all the world over : 

*' I. Porteur (prenant un des batons de sa chaise). Ca, 
paye-z nous ^itementl 

Mascarille. ^oiF 

I. Porleur. Je dis que je "veux a^voir de V argent tout a 

Mascarille. II est raisonnable, celui-la,'''' tic. 

Les Precieuses Ridicules , Sc. vii. 

Note 29, Page 70. 
** It has "waited by portals ^ivhere Garrick has played."" — 
According to Mrs. Elizabeth Carter (Smith's Nollekens, 
1828, i. 21 1), when Garrick a6led, the hackney chaiis often 
stood ** all round the Piazzas [Covent Garden], down 
Southampton-street, and extended more than half-way 
along Maiden-lane." 


Note 30, Page 75. 
Molly Trefusis. — The epigram here quoted from 
'* an old magazine" is to be found in Lord Neaves's admir- 
able little volume, The Greek Anthology (Blackwood's An- 
cient Classics for English Readers). Those familiar with 
eighteenth-century literature will recognize in the succeed- 
ing venes but another echo of those lively stanzas of John 
Gay to *' Molly Mog " of the Rose Inn at Wokingham 
which in their own day found so many imitators. 



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